Gilbert (sports equipment)

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Gilbert Rugby
Privately held company
Industry Sports equipment
Rugby union equipment
Founded 1823 (1823)[1]
Founder William Gilbert (rugby)
Headquarters Robertsbridge, United Kingdom
Area served
Products Rugby clothing (including Rugby shirt, Rugby shorts, Rugby socks, Compression garment, body armour (shoulder pads, head guards Scrum cap, Mouthguard), Rugby boots, Rugby union equipment, luggage, sport equipments and other athletic and recreational products

Gilbert is a sports equipment manufacturing brand, specialising in rugby union and netball.


The company was established by William Gilbert, a cobbler, in 1823, who along with his nephew, James, developed footballs for the neighbouring Rugby School. In 2002, after experiencing financial difficulties following a management buyout, Gilbert was purchased by Grays International.[2]

Gilbert have supplied an unprecedented 6 Rugby World Cups in a row;[3][4] starting with in 1995 in South Africa; Wales in 1999; Australia in 2003; France in 2007; New Zealand in 2011 and England in 2015.

Gilbert was the official ball supplier of the Rugby World Cup 2015,[5][6][7] and is the current long-standing official rugby ball of England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, France, Italy, Argentina, and the International Federation of Netball Associations.[8] Gilbert is also the official ball supplier of the ANZ Championship, the biggest netball competition in the world and also the official supplier of the Netball World Championships. Their products include the Gilbert Synergie rugby ball.

In September 2014, Gilbert Rugby launched the Match-XV[9] match ball. The Match-XV ball has been developed specifically for Rugby World Cup 2015, in England. The Match-XV match ball will be used throughout the Aviva Premiership English Premiership (rugby union), Top 14 and by all Gilbert-sponsored National Unions in the test matches in November 2015.


The following teams, associations and players wear uniforms and equipment provided by Gilbert:

Rugby Sevens[edit]

Rugby Union[edit]




  1. ^ Grays of Cambridge (International) Ltd. "Gilbert Rugby - History - Rugby's Original Brand". 
  2. ^ "Batmaker gets balls as James Gilbert is rescued". September 15, 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  3. ^ Ashdown, John (2015-09-05). "Rugby World Cup 2015: what you need to know". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  4. ^ "RWC 15: A history of the World Cup match ball". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  5. ^ "How Gilbert plans to keep England on the ball". London: The Times. October 20, 2003. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Gilbert to supply official match ball for RWC 07". Rugby Football Union. January 9, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-24. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Gilbert to supply balls for RWC 2011 and 2015". International Rugby Board. 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  8. ^ "Gilbert - Official Ball Supplier". International Federation of Netball Associations. July 19, 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  9. ^ "Innovative Rugby World Cup 2015 Match XV ball launched". East Sussex: Gilbert Rugby. August 29, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 

External links[edit]